History Curriculum: Black History

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:46 pm on 8th September 2020.

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Photo of David Simmonds David Simmonds Conservative, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner 5:46 pm, 8th September 2020

I am very proud of the fact that in the predecessor constituency to the one I have the privilege of representing, William Wilberforce had his London home. He lived there when he was campaigning in this House for the abolition of slavery, although he was a Member of Parliament from Hull. He was a resident of a house called the Chestnuts. That is very much celebrated locally, but will my right hon. Friend expand on the remarks she has made about the complexity of this representation in our curriculum? The guidance covers everything from slavery as something where, in the country that is now the United Kingdom, we saw empires taking people, through to the role of Britain in the abolition of that trade. It also talks about the incredible positive contribution that so many black Britons have made throughout our history and identifies the complexity of those relationships in the context of empire; again that is strongly reflected in the guidance to schools. Does she also agree that in an incredibly diverse city like the one where we are both privileged to be Members of Parliament, the ability for teachers to take that guidance and translate it back so that those children get their education very much in context is a vital part of how our society responds to this debate today?